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Dane

ski packs?

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I'm looking for a ski specific pack that is light weight and comfortable for skis. Anyone have something they really like that is easy on and off for the skis.

 

For day stuff I like what I have, but figured there has to be something out there rigged just for randonee style skiing.

 

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I've been using a Dakine Poacher Pack pack for all my AT adventures for years. It is big enough for an overnighter (including axe/crampons) if you're efficient, and cinches down for lighter day pack loads. It has a back-access zippers and contours enough to be unnoticeable even fairly loaded. There is a loop cross-carry system that is quick to deploy, even with a full pack. Under the lid there is a clear map window that has proven handy. Disclaimer: I can't vouch for the new ones but the specs appear fairly similar.

 

A friend recently pointed out "Aren't most of you backcountry adventures day trips?" He was right - as much as I hate to admit it I do more day touring than I do overnighters overall. So when my REI dividend came this year I bought the Dakine Pro 2 (mines red) which is a bigger version of the classic Heli-Pro. It is tight - I can carry shovel,probe,spare everything, 10 essentials, a couple of Fort George Vortex IPAs, blah blah blah without the pack feeling overloaded. And it is roughly half the size of the Poacher. If you're still carrying a hand-held camera (everyone has a HD helmet cam right?) then you may like the watertight, fleece-lined camera pouch on the belt. Shit, Dakine, where's my commission on this sale? :)~

 

Pros: Fairly cheap, fairly durable. Cross-carry system is quick on/off, even with a heavy pack. Clearance sales every spring.

 

Cons: Made in China (be a North American patriot and buy an Arc'teryx!), Cross-carry system may be too wide if you 'schwack a lot or do a lot of narrow trails. Loop carry may be too small for super fat skis. Dakine caters more to snowboarders than skiers.

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I have an older black diamond 32 covert avalung (mine is yellow and has two diagonal ski carry straps so you can do either direction, the new ones only let you carry diagonal one way but do have a nice helmet carry thing that seems to keep the snow out of your helmet). Its nice to have diagonal or A-frame carry options that both work well.

 

I tend to like the simple top loading bag style pack for most things but have found that the coverts two pocket/wet room dry room system works really well for skiing and keeping your changeovers quick and organized. Its nice to have somewhere quick to slide the skins in without having to bag them to keep them away from your dry clothing etc.

 

I think dynafit makes some packs with a slick system that lets you put the skis on the pack without taking the pack off ... I've read it rocks for rando races and spring tours with lots of stream crossings/dirt etc but not sure how secure it is. I usually just slide my poles behind my pack and use my skis like poles for quick sections of booting as Martin Volken recommends in his book on ski mountaineering.

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Its an odd pack to recommend but I really like my old Osprey Ceres 38 for this. Great A-frame ski carry, w/ easy on off. Good diagonal carry, and the rear pouch is great for stowing warm jackets/skins. Quite a few straps but surprisingly efficient.

I think these days though there is no reason for your pack not to do double duty as safety gear - I'd be looking at the AviLung packs for sure, and if I had the money I would get an airbag.

As for the packs themselves, I prefer top-loaders, but think for day skinning rather then ski alpinism that the Covert 32 looks really nice.

Edited by robpatterson5

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Dane,

I'm very much a novice when it comes to backcountry skiing, but, I do spend a bit too much time(I must confess), looking at packs. I own the Osprey Variant 52, which does compress a bit for day tours. A climbing pack, but it does double duty for skiing. I've looked at its little brother, the Variant 37, as more suitable for day trips, etc.

Some of the packs I've been reading about are the Deuter- Guide35, BCA(either the Stash or the Alp40) and Black Diamond(Outlaw,Alias, or Revelation). A

Anyway, just some suggestions from some of what I'm looking at.

A few more ideas on this thread:

 

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/122765-Reccomendations-35-40l-lightweight-ski-touring-backpack

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I have numerous friends, skiers and boarders both, that like the DaKine packs. Mine is bomber, you can strap anything to it, the rear entry makes it easy to get into. Customer service is also excellent. I broke a buckle after a number of years, called them and they overnight mailed two of them at no cost. I was amazed.

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A bit pricey but worth it IMHO is the Arcteryx Silo 30. Great for carrying skis and fast to deploy/attach.

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I've found the DaKine packs pretty heavy. I have a Black Diamond Revelation which I think is a 35L and it is awesome. Has a removable frame you can put in for heavier loads. I think my only complaint about it is that I believe it's designed to put the shovel head inside the back pocket, and while it works, I just find it awkward. I think that compartment is only for your avy gear, but being the only external pocket I try to use it for other things.

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I agree the DaKine is a little heavy but for carrying somewhat awkward loads a little beefier suspension is nice. I've carried a 600 ft. rescue rope on mine (heavy!) and it worked fine. I've used mine none too gently for many years, good thing I like it because it just doesn"t wear out.

 

 

 

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I'll put another vote in for the BD Covert. It fits a longer back than the Outlaw (I did a comparison check to make sure), and I prefer a diagonal ski strap system. I'm able to fit everything I need for a full ski-mountaineering day in the pack, including rope, harness, and ski and boot crampons as needed.

Like its been mentioned, I can fit my "wet" gear - shovel, saw, and skins in the outer zipper, everything else in the "main" zipper. My BCA probe barely fits in the outer compartment though - maybe the probe dimensions are a bit longer than a comparable BD? So my probe ends up in the main compartment, where I end up using it more often anyways for snow/weather observations. The "goggle" zipper in between the two works better for small things - cell phone, gps, thermometer, bits and bobs. Two small pockets on the hip belt are great for skin wax, ski wax, diamond file, scraper and sunscreen.

I've skied 40+ days with this pack this winter, and I'm completely satisfied with it. The only thing I'd re-consider is getting an avalung version.

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perfer the Deuter offerings, the Cruise (which replaced the Glide) or the Guide.

 

have used the BD Anarchist and Covert and didn't care for the suspension. YMMV

 

 

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I looked at several packs when I decided to buy a dedicated back-country ski pack. I found most of my touring was mainly day trips so I decided on the BCA stash BC pack.

 

PRO: First and foremost is the fit, I have a long torso and loaded it fits me perfect. Skis can be carried either as a "A" or cross carry, both are quick to do. Two pockets, one for gear and the other for stuff plus a couple of smaller pockets inside and two on the hip-belt. Heavy duty zippers that open the pack all the way open. The hydration system is a major plus for me.

 

I don't have anything negative to say about it. I have been using it since last fall and very happy with my purchase.

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Another fan of the BD packs. I've used a BD Frenzy for day tours over the last 4 years and it carries great. I beleive in being very organized and accessible with avalanche gear so you always know exactly where to find your probe and shovel.

 

I also shy away from packs with top lids for a specific ski pack as the contents tend to slide forward in a fall and deliver an unecesary and insulting blow to the back of the head.

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